Business is going to find itself picking up the tab for a lack of social care and low state pensions. Just as employers now have to educate their young workers where schools have failed them, they will have to support their older workers through extended domestic and health transitions.
Do our managers have the skills and knowledge to do this? They are going to need resources to do it. ‘Equality’ issues tend to be presented to managers as lists of do’s and don’ts, and there is real work to do to make sure the business gets the benefit of any commercial advantage there might be.
There are also workers in this group who are ‘hanging on’ for retirement, and are not keen to stay in the workforce any longer than they have to.
Many organisations have handled pre-retirement by encouraging older workers into coaching and mentoring roles rather than part time working. The reality is, we can’t make coaching and mentoring roles for every long serving employee who wants to step back from the front line as a precursor to retirement.
Some individuals are going to be faced with struggling to keep their existing role. Those individuals, if classified as disabled, will be entitled to ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help them in their role. Many of those workers will also be carers for their partners (who may be disabled).
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website : www.irenicon.co.uk. You can follow Annabel on twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye and check our regular articles and news throughout the autumn on our blog site – https://irenicon.wordpress.com/